The "stress hormone," cortisol, regulates adipose tissue formation and control. Stress causes the adrenal glands to release cortisol, which mobilizes energy. Cortisol affects adipose tissue growth in numerous ways:
Insulin Resistance: Chronically high cortisol levels may cause insulin resistance. Insulin resistance increases abdominal fat storage.
Cortisol affects appetite regulation. Stress can cause desires for high-calorie and comfort foods, which can lead to weight gain.
Adipocyte Differentiation: Cortisol affects preadipocyte differentiation. Cortisol may increase insulin-resistant fat cell size.
Adipose tissue malfunction is linked to low-grade inflammation caused by chronic stress and high cortisol levels. Insulin resistance and metabolic diseases are linked to adipose tissue inflammation.
It's important to note that cortisol has both beneficial and potentially detrimental effects, depending on the context and duration of its release.